Trump Is Watching You Closer Than You Watch Him, Thanks NSA
I would love to see my friends offer a string of sensible suggestions for protecting our meta data, our digital privacy as best we can in the comments. Technology cuts both ways. Corporation and governments have scale, money. We have numbers, innovation and for now at least a portion of time on our side.
To the text-
The NSA Managed to Collect 500 Million US Call Records in 2017 Despite Targeting Just 40 People
In the first full year of the Trump administration, the National Security Agency really went all out in efforts to surveil Americans. According to a new report released Friday, the agency sucked up more than 534 million US phone records in 2017, three times the amount it collected in 2016.
The report from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence revealed the agency has been undeterred in his pursuit of metadata from phone calls and text messages, which it gathers from telecommunications providers like Verizon and AT&T, even with the passage of laws in recent years designed to curb the invasive practice.
Metadata from collected from phone records do not reveal the content of a given conversation, but it tells the NSA basically everything else about the interaction. It reveals the phone numbers involved, the time contact is made, and how long a call was or how many characters were exchanged in text messages.
While it might not seem like much, metadata can be quite revealing. The information itself is supposedly anonymous, but it can easily be used to identify an individual. The information can also be paired with other publicly available information from social media and other sources to paint a surprisingly detailed picture of a person’s life.
Some will try to dismiss the value of our metadata. Those people will say things like “it’s not your name or address” or “if you have nothing to hide from the government, why worry?” Please spare me that disingenuous and terribly simplistic attempt to make us look away. Enabling reductions is the checks we must have and maintain against powerful agencies is a horrible concept to advocate. Gov or corporate.
I use proton mail for some communications in addition to my too open public presence at gmail in my own name. Millions use WhatsAPP, but that’s Zuck. Signal is under pressure from Amazon. NPR has a service for dropping important tips or news anonymously. That is based on Tor.
This is a rapidly evolving landscape. Navigate it well. Navigating poorly ends in a bad place.